Corporate Responsibility

Our approach is to analyze every project individually to determine its economic, safety and environmental impacts over the life of the project

Seismicity

Oil and gas activities such as hydraulic fracturing and the disposal of produced water back into an underground formation via saltwater disposal wells have been associated with seismic events in North American basins. Certain areas in Oklahoma where disposed water has been injected into the Arbuckle formation have experienced increased seismic activity. Neither Cimarex nor our third-party vendors dispose of Cimarex produced water into the Arbuckle formation.

seismic array map

In 2012 Cimarex began voluntarily monitoring seismic activity in our Mid-Continent operations with a set of networked seismometers, commonly referred to as a “seismic array.” This seismic array encompasses approximately 1.7 million acres and allows us to detect events much smaller than can be felt. Our private seismic array is designed to augment the public seismic arrays and detect events that public arrays may not capture. In 2015 we implemented a protocol that is triggered by 2.0 magnitude or higher seismic activity. If this seismic activity is associated with our operations, we either modify or halt operations (depending on the magnitude and frequency of events).

Cimarex maintains transparency with state and federal authorities in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. In Oklahoma, we actively communicate with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), the state government agency that oversees the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma, and we have complied with all of the agency’s data requests. We also provide information from our seismic array to the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) and work with both the OGS and the OCC to analyze seismic events and establish best practices.

In 2016 Cimarex began monitoring seismic activity in the Permian Basin using another private seismic array to facilitate early, rapid, and accurate identification of anomalous seismicity. In March 2019 this array was integrated into the West Texas array (WTx), a seismic array partnership in the Permian Basin. The partnership, which Cimarex played a formative role in establishing, fosters a spirit of collaboration and problem solving among Permian operators to mitigate the potential seismic impact by the industry. WTx provides subscribing companies with real-time earthquake locations as well as 24/7 notification services to identify any seismic activity possibly associated with participants' operations. Through this partnership, WTx monitors approximately 5.9 million acres, covering 100% of Cimarex operations in the Delaware Basin. We have implemented a seismicity protocol similar our Mid-Continent protocol. We are actively participating in Permian industry group discussions and research on the topic, and we share information with both the Texas Railroad Commission and the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division, the state agencies that oversee the oil and gas industry in the Permian Region.

Richter Scale Magnitude Effects
1.0-1.9 Not felt or felt rarely
2.0-2.9 Felt slightly by some people; no damage to buildings
3.0-3.9 Often felt by people but rarely causes damage; shaking of indoor objects can be noticeable